I have felt a little “eh” all day and knew a couple of miles on the treadmill would perk me right up. My gym, as it so happens, is fantastic. I use the city park and rec facilities and they are perfect. And, they offer fantastic people like Morty. I checked in for some quality treadmill time, popped my iPod on the ever-changing “don’t worry you’re okay” playlist and set off. This adorable old man, I would later hear called Morty, came in and commenced a fast routine of hopscotch, kicks, shadowboxing and wild arm-swinging before easing onto the floor and doing that bicycle-in-the-air thing. I kid you not, this man was easily 90. Easily. In-between activities, he’d chat up the other exercisers in that adorably endearing Yiddishkeit we all know and love.

As I left, he gave me a wink. An innocent old-man flirt is the greatest.

Speaking of Yiddish! Purim was delightful. I went to different shul and was impressed immediately with the boozeapalooza, I mean, excellent turnout. I was particularly thrilled to see a four-year-old goth girl dressed as a bat. She flapped her little fabric wings mightily with her gragger in her tiny fist and her last reaction to Haman was as enthusiastic as her first. At one point, a rabbi ran in front of the ark in a gold leotard. The other rabbis were dressed like Harry Potter. But, the real hightlight was seeing bubbes doing shots of whiskey. I passed them en route to the ladies room, where they adjourned as I was washing my hands and, with a giggle, one of them asked me, “Have you evah seen Girals Gwone Wyuld?” G-d, imagine my surprise and simultaneous dread then subsequent relief when they burst into laughter in lieu of, say, whipping off their tops and making out.

Oh, wait, there is more to discuss in reference to the gym! I have been observing something terribly troubling happening at gyms, and, after asking around a bit, I have come to realize that it is happening everywhere. There is a very shitty male-female dynamic happening. A woman comes in and is working out, minding her own business. A guy approaches, and, in an attempt to force a conversation, corrects her somehow. No! This right away opens a dialogue with the dynamic of her being in the wrong. Think about it. If someone comes and corrects your workout, you might be a little embarrassed. What ever happened to a good ol’ “Hello. My name is…” ice breaker? Why a put-down? By coming over, pretending to know better, embarrassing a woman and preying upon societal conditioning that women are raised with to be nice and pleasing (and therefore less inclined to be direct and terminate the conversation), ka-boom, a conversation is happening, that may or may not even be a welcome conversation, and the man has asserted his dominance. I’m sick of this. It has got to stop and the only way it is going to stop is when we (women) start looking out for each other, start standing up for ourselves, and feeling more comfortable with assertiveness. There is a sea of difference between direct and rude. We can be direct and we’re going to have to be if this is going to stop.

On a large scale, I’m sick to death of women being catty to one another, or even indifferent, when so much good could come from even a little bit of support. Sometimes I worry and think we (women) are falling behind and things are getting worse and worse. Then, I think of my little bat friend. Her commitment to blotting out the name of one asshole makes me think she, at least, will be okay.

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